Today I want to discuss signs that your dog has a CCL tear, and if he or she needs a brace. First, obviously your poor dog is exhibiting signs of hind limb lameness. Now this can happen two ways. First, you hear a yelp, or see the injury, and have sudden onset lameness. This is about 50% of dogs, and is called an acute injury. Your pup will not use his or her leg, and is toe touching.
Second, you notice your dog limping on the hind leg after exercise, and after rest seems better. This goes on for a few weeks until you have a veterinarian diagnose the injury as a CCL full or partial tear. Some of these patients go a year or longer before getting to full limping. This is a chronic case, and usually degenerative.
We can help with either situation, as even a partial tear will keep re-injuring over and over until externally supported with a brace.
After a while you may notice a medial buttress, or a hard bump on the inside of the knee. This is a sign of cruciate injury as well.
No matter how long you wait, it is never going to be too late to brace your dog, as bracing will help stop the offloading that is happening, and we can start working on that thigh muscle to reverse the atrophy. Let us know if you have any further questions about this topic, and always feel free to send me a contact request, I am happy to chat with you and answer some of your questions!
Nikki, Posh Lead Veterinary Technician